The 21st Century, Week 820

Brain Surgery Banjo

Bluegrass musician Eddie Adcock has been afflicted with tremors that affect his banjo playing. Brain surgery is the logical treatment, but you want to be able to check to see if you’re working in the areas causing the tremors without causing other damage that could affect banjo playing. Solution: have him play the banjo while operating to “optimize the system” so to speak.

I’m usually icked out by surgery videos but this is utterly absorbing. On occasion it actually does feel like The Future around here.

Shining a torch in the dark crevices of the Uncanny Valley

There Will Come Soft Rains” is one of the few pieces of fiction that can still give me a category 5 case of disturbed unsettlement. This video comes pretty damn close. Thanks Sterling! Yeesh…


I wonder if those guys were aware of this?


Model Arms Race

I used to joke that the SRL/Make Magazine crowd would rule the Earth after World War III, but after seeing this radio controlled missile transport and launcher in action I’m not going to joke about them anymore.

Obviously they need to hook up with this guy who built a radio controlled B-52.


The only thing missing is a radio controlled Slim Pickens whooping it up. Of course, if a scale WWIII isn’t your cup of tea you can try your hand at recreating Dr. Strangelove using common household objects.


Bambi vs. Godzilla vs. Super Mario vs. Homer vs…

I haven’t looked into the emulation / 8-bit world for a long time… Most of my gaming time has been limited to short runs of MAME OS X (finally a universal version!) and that’s about it. I don’t understand how I’ve missed M.U.G.E.N all these years. It does for 2d fighting what GURPS did for RPGs: provide a common set of parameters so that characters from different games can compete against each other.

What does this mean? It means you can finally see what happens when Godzilla meets the Mario Brothers.

Social Network Fatigue

Irritating side effect of Web 2.1 tech developments: I’m using “quartzcity” (or some variation) everywhere as my online name, so now whenever something new shows up on the web I’m obliged to immediately register to prevent someone else from grabbing it as a user name.

I suppose I should be posting this to Twitter, but Jaiku is superior in every way.

Optimus Mini Three

The Optimus Mini Three looks kinda cool – a three button keyboard with tiny organic LCD screens as the buttons. Sure it’s gimmicky, but it, er, pushes all the correct nerd buttons.


If I had one though (and this is completely contingent about there being Mac drivers for it – which don’t exist yet), I’d program it to display a random selection of display graphics from 2001: A Space Odyssey. I always dug those screens in the background that displayed cryptic status reports for “ATM” or “NAV.”